By Neil Evans
Track Soft 5 and rail true so likely on or near the pace pattern before a late trend wider for open Wingham Cup day
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1250m):|
The babies get us underway, and there are a few strong chances. Expecting Wyong gelding 1. Go Gadget to hit back hard in weaker company after being outclassed in the deeper Inglis Challenge at Scone. Previously had shown more than enough ability hitting the line late on debut, and draws to get a nice trail off the speed.
Dangers: Newcastle filly 6. Ciao Uno was a little disappointing second-up at Coffs Harbour as a well backed favourite, but more experience and firmer track are natural plusses, and draws to sit right behind the speed. Local gelding 2. Zaru chased valiantly resuming in her first run for more than five months, and can stalk the speed again. Watch the betting on home track gelding 5. Casirina who returns off two solid trials here.
How to play it: Go Gadget to win and quinella 1 and 6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
There'll be nothing left in the tank here over the short course, and that suits debutant filly 11. Trojan Angel (Time For War x Helen's Angel by Hidden Dragon) from the Kim Waugh yard at Wyong who debuts off a couple of impressive trials, the latest closing off strongly despite being a little slow to begin. Can settle back off a good speed, and let down in the straight.
Dangers: Muswellbrook filly 7. Cecilia was sound on debut, and resumes for only her second start off a nice heavy track trial; and the more rain the better. Expect sharp improvement second-up from local 4YO 3. Lock And Launch who draws the inside, and will find this a shade easier.
How to play it: Trojan Angel to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Trojan Angel wins a trial at Wyong on May 27
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Still with the maidens, but out in distance in an open affair. Loved the debut run here of 3YO gelding 2. Dunoon from the local stable of Wayne Wilkes powering home late to beat all bar the winner. Has been freshened, and being by Dundeel, any extra ground a bonus.
Dangers: Capable Pt Macquarie 4YO 3. Flying Mojo has been threatening to land his maiden for a while, and two runs this prep have been encouraging finishing on from midfield. Another one drawn wide. Expect Coffs 5YO 4. Guest to be running on late again second-up. Still well short of his best trip, but can be tucked away on the fence back in the field, and if there's good pace on, watch for him thundering late; while Newcastle 3YO 6. Reuben James has improved steadily in three runs this prep, and leading country rider sticks.
How to play it: Dunoon to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Up the mile at set weights and there are plenty of hopes. Wyong 4YO 6. Shamamour from the Kristen Buchanan stable steps up to the mile second-up after not having much luck resuming in a stronger BM 64 at Newcastle. Potentially the best horse in the race, and comes through some strong form-lines for this grade.
Dangers: Progressive Newcastle colt 11. Our Tito improved sharply to win his maiden in the heavy at Pt Macquarie as an easing favourite, and this looks a nice follow-up race. They found the trick to Gosford 3YO 8. Hay There McNair who after three modest runs to start his career, went to the front here fourth-up and bolted in. Deeper field and wider draw, but confidence is up. Another 4YO up the road from the Big Banana 2. Grand Anthem is hard fit deep into the prep. Charged home to win his maiden two runs back before working home okay in a handy CL3 at Casino. Back up in weight and drawn out, but if he can get cover, will be finishing strong.
How to play it: Shamamour to win and trifecta 6,8,11/2,6,8,11/2,6,8,11. Odds and Evens: Evens
Shamamour's first-up run at Newcastle on May 20
|Race 5 BM 66 HCP (1000m):|
Now the more seasoned sprinters lock horns. He's often disappointed, but still a big fan of home track 4YO gelding 6. Fair Dinkum from the Ross Stitt yard who can strike here second-up. Mixed his runs last prep, but resumed with a strong finishing effort in a Highway at Randwick in heavy ground. Even better on firmer footing, and drawn to get cover back in the field.
Dangers: Coffs 4YO 2. Fearnley looks the immediate threat off a dominant front-running win in a CL2 at home. That came off some handy runs in Qld, and he performs in all ground. Capable Newcastle 3YO and likely leader 3. Mr Polar took a while to win again this prep, but gave a nice kick in this grade at Newcastle last start. Draws to control the race again, but sharp rise in weight a query. Coffs 4YO mare 4. Cosmic Ruby showed improvement when ridden off the speed second-up this grade at Murwillumbah, and can improve further. Watch the betting on Wyong 9YO 1. Johnny Roo Boy who returns under a big weight for his first run in six months without a public trial, but has a sound fresh record, and trainer renowned for striking early.
How to play it: Fair Dinkum to win and box exacta 2,3,6. Odds & Evens: Split
|Race 6 COREY BROWN CUP BM 66 HCP (1300m):|
Feature support race of the day, and there are a stack of chances. Gosford 4YO gelding 4. Charlie's Law from the Greg McFarlane stable is a peak second-up runner, and got home okay resuming in a similar race here off a six-month spell. Natural improver who can reel off a smart final 400m, and was preferred here to Wyong on Thursday.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by Newcastle 4YO 6. Jamaican Dream who likes to punch forward, and can also peak third-up from a handy draw. Newcastle mare 2. Dundee Lee looks better suited here second-up off a lengthy freshen-up when only plain in a stronger race at Newcastle. Local 5YO 5. Texas Storm scraped home in a BM 58 at Coffs last start, and will have his work cut out in a stronger field and drawn off the track. Another Novacastrian 5YO 12. Luga Lad hasn't started since swamping his rivals here in a BM 58 six weeks back, but has trialled recently, and drawn to get cover can get home hard again. Include both home track mare 8. Eyebea Danser, and hard fit Coffs mare 9. Sugar Baby, in wider exotics.
How to play it: Charlie's Law each way and first four 4,6/2,4,5,6,12/2,4,5,6,12/2,4,5,6,8,9,12.
|Race 7 CLASS 1 HCP (1250m):|
Lightly raced local 4YO gelding 1. Flash Palace from the Jim Louizos yard hit the line nicely under this weight resuming off an eight-month spell in a CL1 at Pt Macquarie. Even better suited on firmer ground, and only win so far came second-up.
Dangers: Progressive Wyong 3YO 2. Fantasy Eagle charged through from midfield to claim his maiden in the heavy at Pt Macquarie at only second start, and this looks well within his reach from the inside gate. After last three runs on this track, Newcastle 3YO 3. War Cat improved sharply last start back in distance to just miss when ridden in front, and significantly stays at the trip. Improving Pt Macquarie 3YO 6. Nombuso comes out of that same race as the top selection when working home late, although drawn wide; while lightly raced Kempsey filly 9. Bear The Crown resumes off a winning trial and draws well.
How to play it: Flash Palace to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 WINGHAM CUP (1600m):|
We close out a strong card with the headline race over a mile. Keen on 6YO gelding 5. Mo The Great from the Waugh stable getting to this trip second-up, and down sharply in weight. Resumed with an even effort behind a smart one in a BM 64 at home, and only run this track won the BM 83 Krambach Cup over the same distance. Was scratched from Wyong on Thursday to be saved for this.
Dangers: Tough Wyong 5YO 3. Oakfield Captain dropped back from some higher class form races in autumn to finish hard in the Gooree Cup at Mudgee. Is a solid weight carrier, although needs it relatively dry. Popular home track 5YO 1. Casino Mondial has never missed a place here, winning four from seven. Led all the way to win a BM 70 at Newcastle two runs back before failing in a stronger metro BM 74. Warwick Farm 9YO 2. Hirokin was having his first run in nearly five months when fading late in the Gooree Cup, but always improves second-up and eight of his 11 career wins have come over the mile. Watch the market on Wyong 6YO and former Victorian 6. Venezuela who dropped right our resuming off a long break in the heavy at Warwick Farm, but has trialled since, and draws the fence; while improving Pt Macquarie 5YO 11. Dew Drop is best of the rest.
How to play it: Mo The Great to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.